A Mother's Love

Chapter Six

by Megan Auffart

I'd like to apologize for the huge frigging delay in getting this next chapter up. Things keep on distracting me from this story, although I love it dearly. There's really no excuse for spending almost an entire year with my thumb up my ass - proverbially - and not updating when I had the damn next chapter written on my computer at home! I mean, jeez! Even I was pissing myself off at my outright laziness and that's saying something!

Anyway, I'd like to thank SanovaDreams, Sida, TalentlessMoo, TigerTiggerZ, and Ciara Blaze, as well as the countless others for inspiring me to continue writing and posting (!) on through their reviews. This update's kinda short, but that's because it's one of those chapters where there are no good breaks except right near the beginning. So, yeah. Here we go and please, review?

I jerked backwards, an automatic reaction, and I felt small hands push me forward. Catching my balance, I glared back at Kizzy, who responded with an impassive stare.

"Our mother cannot speak as we can," Lizzy said, gesturing towards the island where Honnor stood, her red tongue jerking endlessly away from the rows of gyrating teeth. I was pushed forward again, this time my foot landing in the stinking water.

"Hey!" I cried out, fresh waves of stench rising with the breaking of the water's surface.

"Our mother cannot speak as her daughters can speak," said Izzy, "so you must go to her."

I yanked my hand out of her grip automatically, and then stopped and stared at my wrist as I realized that I had succeeded in breaking free. The little girl's strength hadn't held me. ...Or perhaps, some of my original strength was returning.

"So the mermaid has begun to figure out the benefits of associating with us," the man drawled out, leaning against one of the walls as he slowly broke a rib bone into smaller and smaller pieces. "You would think –" crack! as he snapped the rib in half "-that someone as lucky-" crack! " –as yourself would be-" crack! "-grateful for our attention." He let the remains of the rib bone fall onto the floor, brushing the dust off his hands.

"I would be grateful if you'd go fuck yourself," I suggested lightly, and then turned around, shoving Kizzy out of my way as I headed towards the doorway. The other two girls stepped out of my way, ignoring their fallen sister as I marched towards the tunnel and into the blackness.

Before I completely entered the tunnel, however, I spun back around. "And you know what? Unless you can pull a bridge out of your fucking pocket and let me walk across, you're out of your minds. All of you."

I kicked a skull out of my way and started walking back towards the door. I didn't have to take this. I had just escaped. I blew Greg's fucking brains out, for fuck's sake! Swearing to myself, I walked about ten feet into the tunnel, brushing my hair angrily out of my face, when I heard a sound.

It wasn't like anything I'd ever heard before. It sounded wet and rasping, like dying infants choked with phlegm, but it also had a stranger quality to it. It was grated, almost. Like someone had shredded their own esophagus with sandpaper before trying to talk. Upon hearing it, I closed my eyes and gave a last, final farewell to my internal will. This was Honnor's voice and it squeezed my resistance like a snake.

"Hyyyoooouuuuu," it gargled and I couldn't help myself. I walked back into the chamber. "Hyyyooouuuuu aaarrreeee heeerrreeeee. Coommmeee..." I stepped past the Izzy and her sisters, who stood rapt at the sound of the voice. Without allowing me a moment to prepare myself, my foot stepped into the scummed and fetid water.

"I knew you'd see it our way," the man called out mockingly. Lizzy hissed at him, "Silence, Slave! Your mistress speaks!"

"Make her stop," I opened my mouth to beg, but then the floor dropped out from underneath my foot and I plummeted beneath the surface. The foul water choked my mouth with the taste of rotten meat and ammonia. My eyes burned as I clawed my way back up to the surface.

The voice was still speaking when I reached air, but my ears were full of water and so I was protected from its raw power as I swam, desperately, towards the island in the middle of the pond. I had to get out of the water.

It's acid, a small part of my mind whispered. Maybe not real acid, but it still burns away at whatever it touches. It's eating at you, right now, and unless you somehow manage to cleanse yourself, you'll end up joining those skeletons lining the path to her prison.

"Shut up," I muttered to myself. I couldn't think about that right now. The island was ten feet away. Five feet. Two feet. I grabbed the hard surface of the concrete and pulled myself up, far more easily than I thought I could. Was my old strength returning? Or was I merely fooling myself in some sad attempt to counterbalance the despair of my current surroundings? It didn't matter, because a fat, moist hand wrapped itself around my wrist.